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3 Responses

  1. Robin Ticker says:


    Thank you for an excellent discussion of the history of halacha regarding Shemittah, Yovel and Pruzbul. As you can see from my email address I am now living in Brooklyn. Let me assure you however, that I also have an address in Israel, in Kiryat Arba and I made Aliya and I am an Israeli citizen. I am saying this not because it’s very important in my opinion regarding this discussion but only to get you to read on. Otherwise I can perhaps hear you say, don’t bother saying anything else unless you move to Israel first since the Mitzvoth Dorayta don’t apply unless the majority of the people including the lost tribes live in Israel at least according to many opinions. So show that you are for real by making aliya before giving us your opinion.

    My question to you is if Hashem doesn’t require us to keep Shemittah from the Torah than why are we presently experiencing the curses regarding security etc. If we would keep shemittah properly than there is no doubt that there would be peace, prosperity and security.

    Please read about my own personal experience of trying to keep shemittah w/o pruzbul. It was an eye opener. Yes it was far from perfect. In fact it was extremely crude. How can one girl (I was unmarried at the time) manage to keep shemittah by herself? How can she take a year sabbatical and not work and loan out money and not expect to get paid back? Well first read up why it even occurred to me to do this

    Maybe my experience was amatuerish yet I believe Hashem loves me for the effort, for the yearning for the desire. Hashem knows I have limitations and there is just so much I can do as a single person. Yet Hashem promises us clearly in Devarim Perek Lamed that the Torah is not too hard for us to do. Please read these Pesukim again carefully. Take them literally just as I did.

    This personal experience has given me strength in conviction that is unsurpassed in the knowledge that we must proclaim Eretz Yisroel as our Bilbical Inheritance. The reason the Rabbanim are Silent regarding our rights to Eretz Yisroel come in my opinion from a failure to really desire, yearn and keep the Mitzvoth of Eretz Yisroel. They simply excuse themselves by saying it’s primarily Lezecher the Mitzvoth. It’s not worth getting too caught up in our day to day practice of Judaism. Is the Yom Kippur Davening regarding the Avoda relevant to today. Those that feel that it is, would not be Silent to the desecration of Har Habayis and the reality of today which includes talks between Condeleeza Rice and Olmert to give Har Habayis to the Goyim who just happen to desire to destroy all of Israel. If there was a true yearning to rebuild the Beis Hamikdash and to return the Avoda of the Kohanim at Har Habayis we would be proclaiming loud and clear that Har Habayis is only for Am Yisroel. And we are not even racists since the only person that can do the Avoda are Kohanim and the only Kohein that can do the Avoda on Yom Kippur is the Kohein Gadol. The Nation of Israel and the 12 tribes accept their role and place whether or not they are Kohanim. In fact if a member of another tribe wishes to do the Avoda they are not allowed to and face serious consequences. The Kohanim may not allow someone from another tribe to take his place or else the Kohein faces serious consequences.

    Am Yisroel are the Mamlechet Kohanim Vegoy Kadosh. We are not allowed to allow the Goyim, even nice democratic ones, our Divine mandate. It would only have terrible consequences for Am Yisroel and for the Nations of the World as we are experiencing today as warnings (September 11th, Katrina, TEHRAN: Iran’s conservative president, Mahmoud Ahmadinejad, A kabbalist predicted global floodings and that Jews should be aware and tonight on AOL there was an article about the risk of rising sea levels on many population centers in USA

    What is common about all these disaster scenarios is that there is chaos followed by communal sharing. People for a short while during recovery forget about what belongs to them. Survival takes priority. Many acts of Chesed are done in these troubled times. Do we need natural and manmade disasters to bring us to the point of sharing? Perhaps the same goal can be accomplished with simply trying our hardest with our hearts and souls to keeping Shemittah D’orayta w/o Pruzbul or Heter Mechira or buying fruits and vegetables from Arabs that wish to destroy us. The Heavens and the Earth are witnesses to Hashem of our Covenant. See Parshas Haazinu. Do we really want them to testify against us? Or do we continue to enjoy a nice halachic discussion about all of this and allow more Gush Katifs expulsions, multiplied 10x in Yehuda and Shomron if the talks of Olmert and Rice succeed chas vechalila. If we continue to remain silent and turn a blind eye then why are we surprised when Hashem hides His face from us. WHERE IS THE RABBINIC OUTCRY!!!!!

    This will be posted on

  2. nachumj says:

    hashanim teisha vi’arbai`im yom.”

    last word of opening transliteration should be “shana”

  3. micha says:

    Nachum: Corrected. Thanks.

    Robin: I believe that derekh eretz qodmah laTorah would mean that before looking for mitzvos between man and G-d, one should first explore mitzvos between people. And only if there is nothing major on those grounds should we assume it’s our relationship with Hashem that is lacking.

    Israel is a very warm and tight-knitted society. But there is a reason why Israelis were nicknamed “sabras”. Compare the behavior of western store owners or service providers to those in Israel, or the difference between waiting on line for a bus in the rushed stressed-out city of New York with the shoving and pushing in the holy city of Yerushalayim. Yes, the care for each other is there; but day-to-day life in Israel is more of a stressed-out rat race than Wall Street. Or the entrenched campedness that makes it more likely Shas will partner with Avodah than with fellow Orthodox Jews in Mafdal. Do you forget the heat between “Blue” and “Orange” just two years back?

    While for you, it may be true that you do not act this way, and that you treat your neighbors as friends. In which case, for you, shemittah would be a logical next step. But what I’ve seen of Israeli society hasn’t convinced me that the country as a whole is there yet. Perhaps shemittah observance forces an interdependency — but being generous when someone’s in need is by far NOT an Israeli weakness.

    As it was a lack of getting along that got us into this mess we call Galus Edom, wouldn’t it make sense that if we people are talking about giving up critical pieces of what he hope are the “beginning of the sprouting” of the end of that Exile, that we look to see if we’re being particularly divisive?


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